The paper 'Enterprise Resource Planning Systems' is a great example of a Business Case Study. The Saudi Standards, Metrology, and Quality Organisation (SASO) were founded by Royal Decree in April 1972 as a GOCC under the chairmanship of H. E. the Minister of Commerce and Industry. The Organisation, which has 900 employees, strives to achieve the vision of being an internationally-distinguished body in the field of standardization and quality assurance. SASO is tasked with developing and enforcing standards of quality, metrology, and conformity in all commodities produced or imported by the nation, with the primary objective of providing consumer protection, as well as co-ordinating metrology and quality standards with the country’ s regional and trade partners.
Because of the wide range and variety of SASO’ s activities, the implementation of an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system is indicated as a means to improve the Organisation’ s efficiency, coordination, and management of physical and intellectual resources in accomplishing its mission. As an agency whose critical mission is to develop and maintain quality and metrology standards, SASO’ s own processes must in turn meet high standards that are recognized not just by the national and regional clients it serves, but by international concerns as well.
In the context of meeting these standards, an ERP system that will improve conformity to internal procedures and standards, improve communication and data management, and improve resource management will be an advantage. This report will discuss some of the general benefits, potential risks, and other considerations which must be made by SASO in determining whether or not to adopt an ERP system, and the general steps to implement it should follow. It must be noted that the report is general in nature, and where particular characteristics of ERP systems are described, these apply to ERP as a concept rather than any particular system package, of which there is a large number; the selection of one of these packages would be the next phase of the project.
Along the lines of supporting the ‘ general’ decision-making process, three main recommendations for SASO going forward are made in the conclusion to this report. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) is a general term describing an enterprise-wide information management system that manages and coordinates information sharing and task planning across all the various functions of the organization, such as personnel management, accounting, production processes, supply chain management, and so on (Charalambos & Constantinides, 2004, p.
234). ERP developed as an evolution from earlier systems such as Material Resource Planning (MRP) and Master Production Scheduling (MPS), which addressed specific functions of an organization such as inventory and supply, or production and logistics (Gupta, 2000, p. 114). The most important general benefit of ERP is to integrate information-sharing and planning across the entire organization, something which legacy systems such as MPS and MRP could not do (Kamhawi, 2008, pp.
310-311). MPS and MRP also did not have administrative functions such as personnel and payroll accounting, so an ERP system with these capabilities would upgrade SASO’ s efficiency in this area. This is a particularly useful benefit, as SASO operates five branches across Saudi Arabia. And ERP retains the capabilities for materials and process management, benefitting other functions within SASO such as properly keeping laboratories supplied, and managing the inventory of consumer products acquired for testing.
For example, for proper testing of consumer products, SASO’ s testing laboratory must have a sufficient quantity of the products to be tested, and various lab materials such as chemical compounds, containers, labels, and tools needed to conduct different tests on hand. These resources all must be available in an efficient quantity, meaning that they are readily available as needed as well as being on hand in reasonable quantities for planned future testing. An MRP system can manage the materials inventory from different sources efficiently (Zarwell & Davis, 2009, p. 2), but the additional requirements of managing costs and the personnel required would have to come from different systems, which leads to a risk of conflict.
A single ERP system that manages everything avoids that risk.
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